The chief difficulty with U.S. cuisine is the economic divide: The better restaurants are better than most in Europe, but cost, on average, $125-150 per couple for dinner. That’s not something most of us have to spend; and why should we? Dining should be fun, and not a financial burden.
Many so-called “ethnic” restaurants have limited capital to invest, staggering monthly costs, little to tide then over when business is slow mid-week or during bad weather, and cannot readily afford to serve the protein many people eat in their homes. Fish here is often tilapia; beef is choice and not prime; pork and chicken come from large, commercial farms where animals are penned in and fed antibiotics; etc. It’s the rare small place, too, that can compete with the marketing, deep pockets, and P.R. of the chains.
Like most everything in U.S., restaurants have become monetized. It’s a shame, really, but on the other hand it means that people perhaps will cook more at home in healthy ways; and, that new business models are emerging for dining which emphasize vegetarian approaches. Nothing is static here.